The Android Debug Bridge, or ADB, is a utility you can use to debug your Android device, side-load apps, and install custom ROMs. One of our favorite uses of ADB is to remove bloatware from Android smartphones to make them snappy and release storage taken up by unwanted apps. You can use ADB on your Android device using any device running Windows, macOS, or Linux, or even using one of the best Chromebooks. And if your Android smartphone is running Android 11 or higher, you can use ADB wirelessly.
The best part is that wireless ADB is simple to set up and use, and you don’t need to be an Android developer for this to work. If you don’t know how to set up wireless ADB on your Android phone, follow this tutorial to learn how to do it.
How to use wireless ADB on your Android phone
Generally, users use a USB cable to send ADB commands over a USB connection. But wireless ADB has improved a lot, and now you don’t need to use a wire to execute ADB commands on your Android device. However, before you proceed, complete the following steps:
- Connect your computer and Android phone to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Update your Android device to the latest version and ensure it’s running Android 11 or above.
- Download the latest version of Android SDK Platform-Tools on your computer.
You don’t need to install Android Studio unless you are an Android developer and need it to test your apps. After you have fulfilled the basic requirements, follow the steps below to set up and use Wi-Fi ADB on your Android phone.
If you use an older Android smartphone running Android 10 or below, use the older adb tcpip command method. You can check the steps for this method on the official Android Developers page.
Enable Developer options on your Android device
Before you can use Wi-Fi ADB on your Android smartphone, you must configure your Android device to enable Developer options. Depending on your smartphone brand, the steps might be slightly different.
- To enable Developer options on a Google Pixel, go to Settings > About phone > Build number. Tap the Build number option seven times until you see the message “You are now a developer!”
- If you own one of the newer OnePlus devices, go to Settings > About Device > Version.
- Tap Build number seven times until you see the same message.
- For Samsung smartphones, go to Settings > About Phone > Software Information.
- Tap Build number multiple times until you see “You are now in Developer mode!”
Enable Wireless debugging on your Android device.
Now that you have enabled Developer options, you need to enable Wireless debugging on your Android device.
- To enable Wireless debugging on a Google Pixel, go to Settings > System and open Developer options.
- Turn on the toggle next to Wireless debugging. Choose allow when you see the popup.
- For Samsung smartphones, go to Settings > Developer options and tap the toggle for Wireless Debugging.
- Tap allow in the popup to enable it.
- If you have a OnePlus smartphone, go to Settings > Additional Settings and tap Developer options.
- Tap the toggle next to Wireless debugging and choose allow to enable it.
Use Wireless ADB on your Android device
After enabling Developer options and Wireless debugging, you can use ADB wirelessly on your Android device. There’s no need to install ADB on your computer, as you can use the Android SDK folder to execute commands. We will use a Mac to show this, but the steps are the same on Windows and Linux devices.
The only difference is that you will not add “./” before running ADB commands on Windows Command Prompt. For example, on Mac, you will run the ./adb devices command to find the list of devices, but on Windows, you will run the adb-devices command.
- Open Wireless Debugging setting and tap the Pair device with pairing code option.
- You will see an IP address, port number, and a Wi-Fi pairing code.
- If you’re using ADB on Mac, open the Terminal app, type CD followed by a space, and drag the Android SDK platform-tools folder to add its path.
- Press Enter to open the path in Terminal.
- On Windows, open the Android SDK platform-tools folder. Click the address bar, type cmdand press Enter to open the folder in the command line tool.
- Type tea ./adb pair command in the Terminalwindow. Add space and type the IP address and port you saw in step 2. Remember to remove ./ from the command if you are using Windows.
- Enter the pairing code and press Enter to pair your Android device with your computer.
- You will see the successful pairing dialog on your computer and phone, as shown in the screenshots below.
- On your Android phone, go back to the main Wireless Debugging page. On this page, you will see the IP Address of the Android device. You will use this to connect your Android device.
- In the Terminal window, use the command ./adb connect, followed by the IP address and port. Press Enter to execute the command.
- You will see a successful connection notification on your Android device and computer.
You have now set up wireless ADB on your Android device and can run any ADB command you desire. To ensure everything is working properly, run the ./adb devices command to check your connected device.
Wirelessly debug your Android phone
You can use wireless debugging to do everything you can do with USB debugging. Whether you want to install an APK, debug your app, or remove bloatware, wireless debugging can handle it. Since you don’t need to connect your phone via a wire, there’s no chance of the connection dropping when you move your devices.